I May Not Stick Around Much Longer


I May Not Stick Around Much Longer

Most educators entered into the profession knowing exactly what they were getting themselves into. Many had someone who influenced them or had some kind of impact on them, gearing them toward the profession. Educators want to make a difference in the lives of the kids they teach. While I feel like I make a difference in the lives of some kids, I do not believe that I will ever be able to reach all of them, which is a hard concept to grasp.

There are many days in which I leave school feeling completely defeated, so I am seriously considering leaving the classroom. 

Teachers are overworked and underpaid.

Nobody ever goes into teaching for the pay. Again, we know exactly what we are getting ourselves into, especially regarding pay. Yes, we get summers off and get many other breaks throughout the year, but what some of you may not realize is that it is nearly impossible to work only during our contract hours. There are papers to grade, emails to send or respond to, phone calls to make, meetings during our planning time, and time spent covering other teachers’ classes (because of a sub shortage). Despite all of this, we are expected to use our planning time to plan what we are going to be teaching. This means that many teachers go home and have to put in hours outside of their contract time because it is nearly impossible to do it all during the school day. There are also events after school that some teachers are required to attend. We have summers off, but many teachers put in professional development hours, which are also required every year, so we get them done in the summer. We do not have as much time off as many people think we do. 

Lack of respect.

There is an overall lack of respect towards teachers and school in general. I’m appalled by the way students talk to teachers. What happened to “Yes/no ma’am?” Many students lack manners, are extremely rude, and always have a snarky comeback when you are trying to help keep them on the right track. They don’t respect their school, classrooms or the classroom materials. I can’t tell you how much trash I pick up after school in my classroom and throughout the school during the day. In addition, students are destroying school property and they don’t take care of classroom materials. I have had multiple items broken throughout the last few years including staplers, pencil sharpeners, clipboards, and my favorite lamp. There is no way to know who is doing these things, so you have to lecture your students about taking care of the school and classroom only to find that it continues to happen.

No accountability for school work.

So many students are absent on a daily basis and it drives me crazy. I get it; illness, appointments, and other things come up and students have to miss school, but, for goodness sake, I think almost every student in every grade has a school-issued device in which they can access materials from class. I can’t tell you how many students think that just because they were absent, they do not have to do the work they missed. It’s absurd to me that they think they should be excused from work because they didn’t come to school. Then, they act like it’s my fault that they have fallen behind, as if I don’t have a system in place for them to access everything from class on the days they miss. Then, come the angry parent emails about their kid having a low grade because the kid has missed a bunch of days of my class and hasn’t attempted to do the missing work or directly ask me for help. Students want you to hold their hands and spoon feed them every step of the way and when you have over 150 students, that’s an impossible task. 

All of this to say that I feel like it’s only going to get worse rather than better. I do not think the world of education is trending in the right direction and it saddens me. There are other opportunities out there that are less stressful and less demanding in which teachers can put their skills to use. Of course, we get sweet messages and invitations to events (graduations, weddings, even baby showers) from former students who we positively impacted by our teaching — which makes it all worth it — however, it seems like we are putting up with way too many other things to have an impact on so few kids. The number of students who we are positively impacting is being outweighed by the students who could care less.

I don’t feel like I’m making the difference I thought I would by teaching because so many students don’t care about school. Year after year, I think it will be different and I’ll try some new things to engage my students, but it’s still the same result.

I’m not sure how much longer I can stick around for this, which is why I am seriously considering leaving the classroom.


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